Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Now you See it... Now you Don't

Vanishing Water Ball Experiment

In this science experiment you explore super absorbent polymers and light refraction. In the
process we will make some really cool polymer water balls that appear magically when
scooped out of water and simply vanish when we drop them back into the water.

What you Need:
1.  Packet of Water Pearls

2. Water

3. Clear Bowl


Process for Vanishing Water Ball Experiment:

1) Purchase a pack of super absorbent polymer clear water pearls.

2) Get a large bowl and fill with distilled water.

3) Pour the clear water pearl seeds into the bowl of distilled water. The pearl seeds start off
about 1/8 of an inch and will absorb water becoming around 3/4 inches.

4) Allow the super absorbent polymer clear pearl seeds to sit for a few hours and grow.

5) Dip your hand into the bottom of the bowl and scoop up some water. Magically the water balls
will appear as you take your hand out of the water.

6) Drop the water balls back into the water and they vanish becoming invisible to the eye!

The Science Behind The Vanishing Water Ball Experiment

The clear water pearls are super absorbent polymers that can hold up 300 times their original weight in water. Polymers are individual molecules linked together to form long chains of
molecules. Anything made of plastic is a form of a polymer. When there is no water in the bowl,
you can see objects (like the clear water pearls) inside the bowl perfectly . This occurs because
rays of light scatter as they hit the objects in the bowl making them visible. After the clear water
pearls absorb and fill with water they become invisible once submerged in water. This happens
because the water filled clear pearls have the same index of refraction as the water itself. As you
remove the pearls from the water light refracts against the pearls making them visible. As you
drop them back in the water, the index of refraction for the pearls becomes the same as the
water making them vanish! Clear Water Pearls go by many names, jelly marbles, clear
spheres, water balls, water crystals.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Baby, it's Cold Outside

Colored Ice - Water Balloon Project

Fill water balloons with colored water and put them in the freezer. Watch how they've frozen into solids and go play outside with them.

What you need:

  • water balloons
  • food coloring
  • scissors

Carefully fill the balloon with water. Follow the directions on the package. (You may have to squeeze the water down into the balloon with one hand while the other hand is holding the top of the balloon against the end of the spigot (faucet). Carefully remove and tie off. Repeat. Place in plastic bag(s)* and freeze.

Leave in the freezer for 4 + hours.  Have an adult cut the balloon and the kids can peel it off. But be careful - there might be some colored liquid that falls out.

Leave ice balls on a tray and let the kids play with them.  You can also place them outside and observe what happens.  Watch the ice melt and color mix.

Rainbow Veggies

Celery Science Experiment

Watch how plants absorb water.

What you need:
  • glass jars/containers
  • food coloring
  • celery
Just add food coloring to each jar and top with water. Place one celery stick in each jar and let the food coloring do it's thing.

Check in on your experiment every few hours and observe capillary action at work


Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Homemade Bouncy Ball

How to make a Bouncy Ball
What you need:
  • Borax (found in laundry section)
  • warm water
  • corn starch
  • glue (clear glue makes a see transparent ball and white glue makes an opaque ball)
  • 2 small mixing cups
  • a stirring stick (plastic spoon)
  • food coloring (optional)
Label one cup ‘Borax Solution’ and the other cup ‘Ball Mixture’.
Pour 2 tablespoons warm water and 1/2 teaspoon borax powder into the cup labeled ‘Borax Solution’. Stir the mixture to dissolve the borax. Add food coloring, if desired.

Pour 1 tablespoon of glue into the cup labeled ‘Ball Mixture’. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the borax solution you just made and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Do not stir.
Allow the ingredients to interact on their own for 10-15 seconds and then stir them together to fully mix. Once the mixture becomes impossible to stir, take it out of the cup and start molding the ball with your hands.

The ball will start out sticky and messy, but will solidify as you knead it.
Once the ball is less sticky, continue rolling between your hands until it is smooth and round!

You can store your plastic ball in a sealed ziploc bag when you are finished playing with it. (The ball tends to flatten out a bit when sitting and does not normally last longer than a couple of days before drying out).
PS DO NOT EAT- borax can be toxic.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Fun Fishy School

Catch me if you can.  Create an ocean of fish and see how many your preschooler can catch with their fish pole.

    Supplies Needed

·        Paper - 1 per fish
·        Scissors
·        Water color, markers and or crayons
·        Wood dowel - 1 per fishing pole
·        Small magnets  - 1 per fishing pole
·        Duck Tape
·        String
·        Paper clip - 1 per fish


1. Create your fish.  Have your child draw a fish or other
 under water creatures.
2. Decorate your creatures.  Use paint, markers, crayons, water color.
2. Cut it out.  Have the kids use kid sissors and cut out the shapes
3.  Add paper clip. Punch a small hole and add paper clip to fish mouth.
4. Make fishing pole.  Take the Dowel and tie a string to it.  Ducktape it to make sure it stays in place.
5. Add small magnet to fishing pole.  Tie with string and add duck tape to make sure it stays in place.

Now you can Start Fishing...